What factors influence the wine color?
In wine culture, one of the first phases that influences the perception of a good wine is the visual phase, since it determines our initial impression when drinking a wine.
The human brain relies a lot on what it perceives with the naked eye and it is clear that the color of the wine influences us at the time of our tasting. For this reason, in many places so-called blind tastings are carried out so that we are not influenced by colors.
The color of the wine is mainly determined by these factors:
✅ Type of grape
✅ Elaboration process
✅ Production area
With these factors, the color of our wines can be determined and they provide us with important information when determining the quality of the wine we are drinking, through wine tasting.
We can analyze the wines by type (red, rosé and white), so that we become more familiar with what we know about wines.
Red wines are the ones that are most charged with color, both in layer and intensity. Those that make the color of red wine possible are the anthocyanins and the tannins.
The anthocyanin can be found in the skins of the grapes and can have shades of blue, violet or red, and its combination with the tannins, responsible for the astringency (the wine scratches) and which is found in the skins, seeds and stems, when combined, provide stability to the color of wines.
When ripening is adequate, the amount of anthocyanins is greater, and if we also carry out an intense maceration of the skins with the wine, the amount of these elements in the wine will be higher and therefore the color intensity of the wine will be more intense. elevated.
Depending on the grape variety
With this factor, depending on the variety, we find wines with more intense colors in varieties with high coloring capacity, such as Garnacha Tintorera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo or Syrah. However, Garnacha Tinta or Pinot Noir produce wines with lighter colors and lower layers.
The elaboration factor is also important, since, if a wine is elaborated and in a very short time it is bottled, I feel a young wine we can find more vivid colors such as purple, violet of great intensity.
While the wine is aged in barrels, the micro-oxygenation it receives makes its tones turn to cherries and reds. And as the aging times are longer, the colors lose intensity, approaching tile colors.
The climate is very important, since anthocyanins are generated during veraison, and this color change in the grapes is directly related to the sun and the amount of rain, which are determining factors in the amount of polyphenols in the skins and the pulp of the grape, so wines that receive more sunlight and rain in adequate amounts will have more intense and deeper colors.
This last factor is also very important, since it depends on the geographical position of the vineyard (height), planning direction and temperature differences between day and night. All these variables cause higher concentrations of anthocyanins and therefore varieties such as Garnacha Tinta, which in areas we can find medium layer colors, and in other areas very high layers.
White wines depend much more than the factors named above. They range from bright greenish to gold/amber, the former being the colors that indicate the wine's youth and the older wines approaching the darker shades.
We can name the Verdejo a variety of grape that gives those greenish and striking colors to the wine when it is young, without aging.
Other wines tend to be more light and bright yellow with different shades, an example being the Albariño, a variety of grape that provides the wine with an elegant and bright color.
When the wines are aged in wood, in the case of cavas, they tend to have lighter or golden colours, and in fine and generous wines we appreciate amber colors since they usually have long aging in barrels due to their biological fermentation.
The elaboration of a rosé wine is very similar to that of a white since it is fermented without skins in the tank, but the difference is that the rosé wine macerates the skins of the grapes with the must for a few hours so that they provide the color that characterizes it.
How does the color of rosé wine evolve?
The evolution of color in rosés is much faster than in reds, and this is due to the fact that the total amount of anthocyanins is lower and the wine is more affected by oxidation.
So we can say that wines with long macerations give us intense pink colors, almost purple and violet. While wines with shorter macerations give us pale pink colors.
In the case of rosés, the variety is very important, since varieties such as Syrah and Bobal are usually more powerful and intense, and the Tempranillo or Garnachas variety are lighter in color and produce more delicate wines.